February 17, 2011


Projects are good. They keep the mind working and focused on something else, which in turn burns calories! And the focus re-directs my attention to something else. Something that keeps me busy. So I do the occasional scrap booking, newly introduced to the digital scrap booking world... They make me happy, and happy is healthy--especially in these what can be very UNhappy times. Well now I have decided to take on some other projects, projects that center around my Savanna. So here they are...
One of my projects!
1. Spring for SIDS--April 29 (click here to get detailed information. ) J and I have started a team, and my employer is sponsoring us. We are planning to make SIDS ribbons and handing them out. For every $5 donation, the donater will receive a lapel sticker that they can wear on the day of the event. All of the proceeds from this even goes to the American SIDS Institute for research in the preventions of SIDS and education and family support. If you would like to make a donation in Savanna's name, click on the ribbon right over there on the right. Or you can click right here to go directly to the donation page. (our team name is Savanna's Smiles)If you want to get involved, you can start your own group, be an individual, or join in on our team! Take donations and we'll send the stickers/ribbons.

Balloon Release from her Memorial Service
2. As most of you know Miss Savanna's first Birthday in Heaven is coming up. J and I have discussed numerous times what we would do in her honor. We decided we would have a small party for her with a cake, close friends and family the Saturday before (her Birthday is on a Monday) and than on her actual day we would visit her at her spot and bring her some goodies. Well, for me, that just didn't seem enough. I am getting ready to start her memory book (another project) and I wanted something that seemed more memorable. So today, I was having a not so good day, and in my attempt to redirect my focus and energy, the Lord opened my heart and eyes to a wonderful memorial for her and what could be a new family tradition. In the coming weeks I will design and send out invitations for her Birthday.. for friends and family far and wide will be invited. With these invitations will be balloons; one for each person in the family. On her Birthday everyone will release their balloons--and all I ask is they take some pictures, maybe write a snippet of a thought or brief feeling they had, maybe something they want to tell Savanna and send it back to me. Than we can add all of that love to her book. And to think, she'll see all those balloons floating high in the sky just for her! Sooo... be looking for your balloons! And mark March 28 on your calendars! I'll start an event on FB to post reminders.. for my new friends I would love for you to be involved also! As you have become a part of my world, and my extended family now.

And another.

This seemed a fitting way to remember her.. and another tradition we can start. Another memory of her for her memory book, and another way for her future brothers/sisters to know her.

3. My next project (not my last) I have been wanting to do something carrying on her name. A legacy -- a way to imprint her footprint onto this Earth. So I started to think of that day. When we left the hospital that day November 12th, we left with a small purple box. In this box were 4 pictures, a lock of her hair, her footprints and handprints, and some brochures. It was a sweet gesture, but didn't seem very warm or comforting. The pictures were tossed in there, her hair taped to a piece of the hospitals stationary and the foot/handprints stamped onto one of the same. So I got to thinking.. How can I make this more personable.. more meaningful?

After talking with J we decided we are going to start a new kind of box. A memory box, if you will. We will include a pocket journal where parents can write their thoughts, get phone numbers of people they need, a place to put business cards of hospital staff or investigators. I remember getting so much information that day and talking to so many different people.. but did not retain much if any of it. We have wanted to go back to thank the nurses who worked so dilligantly to try and save our Savanna, but didn't know their names. This journal could be that place to put that info. So than I thought of the pictures they took of her.

They aren't pictures I want to frame around the house or put in the scrap book, but they are our last pictures of her. Because there was an investigation done, the intubation tubes had to stay in, all of it, so the pictures we have are of that. I have only looked at those pictures once, I have not willed myself to look again, and don't know that I will. But I still want them taken with care, and to know they will last through the years inside this box. So we decided we would put a small 4x6 photo album inside as well.

Next to the lock of hair, foot/hand prints. There will be a small bag attached to a more appropriate piece of stationary, along with two blank pages that can be slid into a plastic insert, keeping them better perserved. I honestly couldn't tell you how Savanna's are holding up, like I said I haven't looked in it since that night.

Lastly, we will include websites of places to go to help. Places where they can feel safe to talk to others walking this path. Websites that can help them to remember their little peas. Websites that will allow them to grieve and not feel bad for it, where being in a dark place is ok. Websites that will allow them move forward and not move 'on.' Listing of books that may be of help. And lastly, a guide to plan the funeral. I can remember in those days afterwards feeling so lost.. I can plan her birthday party, I can plan the Christmas party or the family get together--but not a funeral, and most certainly not my baby girl's funeral. A guide to at least give them some direction and to know their options.

Each box would either be for a boy or a girl, tied with a ribbon for the appropriate sex. And there will, of course, be something including keeping the memory of Little Priss alive. Than I will donate these boxes to the local hospitals. Eventually I would like to go outside of our small town city, but start small dream big right? We figured we would start with some of Savanna's money to get a head start and than start taking donations to keep it going... Once I get one box done, I will post pictures.
Well there you have it. My three projects. I welcome any ideas or ways to maybe get started with the last one. I have never done anything like this before but am diving in head first. My good friend TC has offered to give a hand and help me on this journey. Websites, books or any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Well, looks like I got some work to do!


7 blessings, thoughts. &. feelings:

Brittney said...

This is where the " love it love it love it" button would come in handy!! I know here in Az a lot of retired ladies croche blankets and caps for the bangs... maybe you could have them in Tx start making them for the boxes! If you need help here... i'm in!! I know savanna is so proud that you and j are so willing to help others and make the aweful expierence a little better. Good luck!!! Love ya!

Jamie Fitzgerald said...

As an idea to spread awareness of SIDs in Savanna's memory, if you knew someone in every state that collected donatations/wore ribbons, then on her birthday you passed the word to wear their ribbon in honor of her to celebrate her. Just think, at least one person in every state in America would be wearing a ribbon to celebrate your baby girl and remember on her birthday.
Also, as a scrapbooker, I have all my pictures put on discs. Have you thought of having her hospital pictures and all of her pictures put on a disc as a safe way to keep all her pictures?
Your strength is inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Let me know what I can do in Missouri to help! I could potentially take the box to my work to see if they would be willing to give them to our families who lose their children. Of course I don't know what type of maze I will have to go through to get it to happen but would love to get it started!! We are a not for profit organization so I will have to try and get someone to listen to me where it comes to the funds to accomplish this but would love to see them begin doing something like this. We will help out anyway financially we can or any other way for that matter. When you have a box done please send me the details so I can take the information to work. In the mean time I will start putting feelers out. I will message you my email address so you can send me all details. Please don't be shy and just ask. We think about you, J and Savanna all the time. Love, Tish

Ali said...

Hi! Here is a blog I read http://kendraandryanwebster.blogspot.com/

She lost her daughter at 5 months. She is raw and honest, you may find some comfort :) She does balloon releases all the time. SO much so that now I always have my daughter let her balloons go as toys to the babies in Heaven. (It's created such a gesture of service even at the age of 2 years old.) Such a comfort. I think she totally gets it, even though Heaven is hard to fully explain to a toddler. Well I guess at any age :)

I think about your daughter all the time.

I am a friend of April's :)

You are an amazing writer. And I am thankful for the many tears your blog has given me.

We will be sending our balloons. March 27th. In honor of Savanna.

xoxo Ali

Jerica said...

Tabs i just wanted to let you know that i read all of your posts and i'm moved by al of them. They really make me think and i feel like every time i read something that you write that i am there with you. i pray for you and j. <3 you

Kelsey said...

Can I just say how awesome you are? I absolutely love your ideas and projects. I just couldn't help but smile the whole time while I read this.
I still pray for you and your hubby. Love you both, and I hope you'll think of me when Savanna's birthday comes around. I would love to send a balloon to your angel.
Love you.

Tiffany said...

The other night I spent a lot of time reading through your blogs. I am so sorry about your daughter. She is so, so cute! So much of what you wrote, are all things that I think and feel too since my daughter Ellie died in October. But what really got me, was your entry about a good day. I feel so guilty about having a good day and I don't even like to admit when it's a good day. But I love when you said that Savanna brought you the good day. She knew you needed it. I think that's true. I know that Ellie does the same thing for me and I shouldn't feel guilty about enjoying what she is sending me. So thank you for that wonderful insight.
We too are going to be making memory boxes for the hospital where Ellie died. We left with some stuff in a plastic bag. We might have to share some ideas on what to put in the boxes!
Good luck with your projects!